In studying the book of Romans, we're in a section that the apostle has been talking about  God's plan and His rule in dealing with his chosen people of Israel. And in the course of that  he makes the case that not all of Israel has been chosen, and also states that God has  chosen, many who are not part of Israel. And in all of that, he is emphasizing that ultimately,  our salvation comes from God. And not just from a choice that we make in time, but from  God's eternal choice and God's eternal decisions. If you read Romans, chapter nine, you find  him expressing his anguish that so many of his fellow Israelites have not been saved. And he  says he would do anything even give himself up to be lost, if only it would save them. Then he asked, Well, did God's promise fail? And he says, No, God's promise didn't fail. Because the  promise was for God's chosen among the Israelites, and not necessarily for all who were by  birth descendants of Abraham. He says, Well, is this fair, that God would choose to save some and not others? And the Apostle says, No, if it were a matter of fairness, we would all be lost.  If we want justice, God will never give us less than justice. But sometimes he gives more he  gives grace and mercy and forgiveness. And God is free to show mercy or to judge he could  hard hearted and Pharaoh and say, okay, Pharaoh, you just become more Pharaohish. Or he  could choose to save. But it was not unfair in either case, because he only gives people more  of themselves and more of what they deserve. If he's being just. And if he's being merciful,  then he rescues them from themselves. So Can God blame the faithless? Well, yes, he can,  because they're at fault. And even when they're faithless, even when people are doing  wickedness, God's purposes are going to prevail, and even people who reject Him, God can  put to use in his plan. And in all of this, the main issue is what it's been all the way through  the book of Romans. How are you right with God, you're right with God, by trusting by faith,  you're justified by faith, and not by trying harder by doing the law or earning God's favor. So  the apostle makes it very clear that this comes from God. And it's rooted deep in eternity in  God's decision to save people. 400 years ago, this month, there was a church gathering at a  place called Dordrecht. And there they issued some pronouncements on the way of salvation.  And here are some of the statements from that gathering. The fact that some receive from  God the gift of faith within time, and others do not stems from his eternal decree. God  graciously softens the hearts however hard of the elect the chosen and inclines them to  believe. But by a just judgment, God leaves in their wickedness and hardness of heart, those  who have not been chosen. God chose in Christ to salvation a definite number of particular  people out of the entire human race, which had fallen by its own fault from its original  innocence into sin and ruin. Those chosen were neither better nor more deserving than the  others, but lay with them in the common misery. This same election took place not on the  basis of foreseen faith, God didn't look into the future and say, Who's going to have faith or  who's going to be good enough? He didn't do this on the basis of foreseen faith as though it  were based on a prerequisite cause or condition in the person to be chosen election. God's  choosing is the source of every saving good. faith, holiness and the other saving gifts and at  last, eternal life itself flow forth from election as its fruits and effects. In other words, God  didn't look ahead and see who's going to have faith. He says, Faith is the fruit of God's choice, and of God's work. Now, sometimes this is called Calvinism, God's predestination and God's  choosing, that's actually a very bad label. Because before Calvin, in the 1200s, Thomas  Aquinas, a famous Roman Catholic theologian was teaching basically the same doctrine of  election. Move back to the four hundreds, and you find Augustine teaching the same doctrine, move back before him, and you find the Apostle Paul saying In love, He predestined us. He  chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, or in Romans chapter eight, those whom he predestined, he also called So, and we'll go back a little further than Paul, we'll just go  back to Jesus, no one comes to me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him. That's basically the same doctrine, you read of Jesus again, and again saying to His Father in prayer, all that  You have given Me will come to me. The father chooses and gives to Christ, His people, and  then Jesus does what's necessary to save them. So as I say, Calvinism is a very bad label in  one sense, because there's a lot more to Calvinism, than just predestination. And on the other hand, there are a lot more advocates of predestination than just Calvin. Most of the great  thinkers of the church who had preceded Calvin also saw this taught in the Bible, and in  various ways formulated it and taught it. How do you have assurance of being chosen by 

God? Well, you don't say I need a sneak peek into the Lamb's book of life. I need to be able to  look at those decrees made from before the foundation of the world. Assurance of their  eternal and unchangeable election to salvation, comes not by inquisitive, searching into the  hidden and deep things of God. But by noticing within themselves with spiritual joy and holy  delight, the unmistakable fruits of election pointed out in God's word, such as a true faith in  Christ, a childlike fear of God, a godly sorrow for sins, a hunger and thirst for righteousness,  and so forth. So, when you see faith in yourself, not if you're not putting faith in yourself, I  said that wrong. But when you see in yourself, faith in Christ, then you know that that means  well, God must have chosen me the apostle Paul, in writing to the Thessalonians says, we  know that God has chosen you brothers, how does he know that? He says, because when we  came to you, you received our preaching not just as the word of man, but as the word of God.  So when they received the word of God by faith, then Paul said, we can tell that God chose  you. Because that's how God's chosen respond to the Word of God, they believe. They put  their faith and they trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, to be their Savior. And when we hear this  teaching of God's choice, and of that choice, being the great foundation that gives rise to  faith, we also have to realize that that's a call to mission. It is the promise of the gospel, that  whoever believes in Christ crucified shall not perish, but have eternal life. This promise  together with the command to repent and believe, ought to be announced and declared  without differentiation or discrimination to all nations and people. So because the gospel  promises salvation, all who believe then we ought to announce it to everybody, without  discrimination to all nations, all people. And that line of logic is following kind of the same  chain of logic that the apostle uses. In Romans, he talks about God's sovereignty, that He will  have mercy on whom he'll have mercy. And then he goes on to say, well, I pray for the  Israelites that they may be saved. And so he's praying for the salvation of more people. In a  sense, you could call that prayer evangelism. But very soon, he's going to be talking not just  about prayer, evangelism, but about preaching evangelism, about communicating the gospel. And the message that we talked about most recently, this section, he makes the point that all  who call on the name of the Lord will be saved. If God makes His decisions, then it's also true,  beyond our understanding, but people are absolutely responsible to respond to the Lord. And  he says the words near you, it's in your heart and in your mouth. It's not way far away from  you. If you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, believe in your heart that God raised Him  from the dead, you will be saved. There's no difference between Jew and Gentile. The same  Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him. For everyone who calls on the name  of the Lord will be saved. What a tremendous statement, everyone who calls in the name of  the Lord, if you were to think of that doctrine of God's choosing, and say, well, Boy, I wish I  were saved and i Boy, I wish God would save me but he didn't maybe he didn't choose me.  You mistaken how to understand that teaching because the the teaching is everybody who  calls on the name of the Lord will be saved, there's nobody who's going to call on the Lord  Jesus. And Jesus says, nope, names not in the book of life. Sorry about that. everybody who  calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. The apostle is very clear about that. And that's  one of those tremendous encouragements, it goes along with that wonderful promise of John  3:16. God so loved the world that whoever believes in Jesus, He gave His only Son so that  whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life, whoever, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord. It doesn't matter how evil and wicked you've been, if you've been a  murderer of Christians, you can call on the name of the Lord, and you'll be saved as the  Apostle Paul was. If you are very old, and you spent your whole life without God, and you call  on the name of the Lord, you will be saved. I remember in my radio ministry, getting a letter  from somebody who said, Well, I know a 94 year old man who's a friend of mine, who was  listening to your radio program and became a Christian. And I have to admit, I just laughed,  because I don't really plan on very many 94 year old converts. But the Lord has plans of his  own. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved that thief on the cross,  who was at the very end of a life of crime, only a little while to live, says, Lord Jesus,  remember me, when you come into your kingdom. And Jesus said, today, you will be with Me  in Paradise, whoever, everyone, no matter how old no matter how bad, whether you're male  or female, whether you're a little child, you call him the name of the Lord, you pray to Jesus, 

to save you, and He will. That's God's promise, and God has never, ever broken a promise.  Whoever calls him the name of the Lord will be saved of every racial background. That's what  Paul is really emphasizing most in this passage, whether you're a Jew or Gentile, there's no  difference. If you won't call on the name of the Lord, you'll be lost. But if you call on the name  of the Lord, whether you're Jew or Gentile, you will be saved. God is supreme in all things. But  if you call on Him, you will be saved. And because of that, then the apostle moves on to the  next part of his logic, because everybody who calls him the name of the Lord will be saved.  And Paul was praying for people's salvation. But then he also shows the importance not just of prayer evangelism, but of preaching evangelism, how then can they call on the one they've  not believed in? How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can  they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are  sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news, everybody  who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. But before you can call on him before you  can pray to Jesus, and ask him to apply his precious blood to your sins, and ask His Holy Spirit to live in your heart, and welcome God to be your father, before you can call on the name of  the Lord and pray to Him in that manner. You need to believe you need to trust him. How can  you call on Him and pray to him if you don't even believe he's there? Or is willing to listen to  you? But then how can you believe? If you've never heard of him? If you have no clue who  God is? If you've never been told who Jesus is, or what he's done? How can you believe in  somebody you've never heard of? And how are you going to hear if nobody ever talks about  him? How are you going to hear if there is nobody proclaiming and heralding this good news?  Somebody's got to bring the message. Somebody's got to tell others. The apostle Paul was  called to do that, and he did it. And he had a sense too that not only did he have to preach,  but he also had the sense that how are they going to be able to preach unless they're sent  and to be sent involves at least two things the sending of God and the sending of the church.  The apostle Paul was called by God to be an apostle. And on the road to Damascus, the Lord  Jesus said to him, I am sending you to them, to turn them from darkness to light and from the  power of Satan to God, so that they will receive forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in me. So he was called by Jesus Christ Himself to turn  people from darkness to light from Satan to God. But he also was sent by the church, a group  of Christians in the church of Antioch, one of the great cities of the empire, that church was  praying and worshiping God together. And the Holy Spirit said to them, set apart for me,  Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I've called them. And so they fasted and prayed  some more. And then they sent Barnabas and Saul out as missionaries on the great  missionary journeys. And that's how Paul got onto his great missionary journeys was the call  of God, and then the call and sending of the church. And he took that sending very seriously.  And we need to understand that for ourselves, that it's very important that people bring the  good news. But it's also important that people who are bringing the good news into new  situations or into new mission settings, need the call of God on the but also the call of the  church and the sending and support of the church, the prayers of the church on their behalf,  the gifts of the church on their behalf. We sometimes think of the book of Romans, those who  are familiar with the Bible as the greatest doctrinal statement of the main truths of  Christianity in the most concentrated form. And, and it is, it's also fundraising letter, and a  missionary support letter, you know, and maybe the best ever written, I think we could say  that. Because at the end, he say, you know, I, I haven't met you guys in Rome. But I'm hoping to stop there on my way to Spain. And I'd like you to send me on my way and give me a great  send off. Now the end ended up Paul to know is know the future, he ended up getting to Rome in chains, as a slave, but later on, he was released for a few years again, and we don't know  for sure the details, but it seems most likely that he did make it to Spain, sent on by the  Roman church. And then later on when he returned to Rome, was executed in the  persecutions under Nero. At any rate, he had to import he had the sense that it is important  to be sent by God, and by God's people. And this is what we need to have when we think  about a mission mentality to understand the chain of logic. If you take it in reverse, people  need to be sent. And so we need to take Jesus invitation pray that the Lord will send more  harvesters into his harvest field because there is such a great harvest field. So pray for that. 

And when somebody rises up with a sense of God's calling, send them and support them. And not only that, be among those who are speaking to the Lord Jesus Christ. It's been a great joy  and encouragement for me to see that more and more people, I think we're up to five now  have signed up to disciple people who are in prison, through during the Crossroads lessons, if  you're still thinking about that, that's one way to do it. You yourself can get involved in that  and disciple somebody in God's word. And there's a whole host of ways, whether it's in your  own neighborhood, or the people whom you know, to share Jesus with people around you,  because how are they going to hear unless somebody tells them. And then of course, it is  important once they hear, to believe, and when they believe to call on Jesus for salvation. But  that's the the chain of logic. And so it's beautiful when people want to bring this gospel of  good news. But having said all that, the apostle gets back to the original problem. Not  everybody accepts the gospel. But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah  says, Lord, who has believed our message, by the way that comes that's the first sentence of  sort of Isaiah 53. Isaiah 53 is the clearest passage in the Old Testament about Jesus dying as  our substitute, and then rising again. And but that passage opens with who has believed this  message. For Isaiah says that, and then consequently, faith comes from hearing the message. And the message is heard through the word of Christ. And again, let's emphasize that it's the  word of Christ. It's not just this or that sentence from the Bible, or this or that command from  the Bible, but it's supremely the word of Christ, the announcement of Jesus, who he is as Son  of God, as a human among us, as the great miracle worker and the great teacher, as the  great sacrifice for sin, as the one who rose from the dead and defeated death and ascended  to heaven and reigns and is coming again. It's always the word of Christ, which saves, nobody else saves. On one point, Jesus said to some who didn't believe in him he said you're  searching the scriptures. You have the Old Testament Scriptures, and you keep searching  them because you think that in them, you have eternal life, but they're pointing to me. All the Bible studies in the world can't save you. If you don't hear Jesus speaking. And if That  message of the Bible doesn't come home. But the word of Christ is what saves. And it is that  word that some people reject. And so he turns again to this problem of many Israelites not  believing in Jesus, but I ask, did they not hear? Is that the problem? He says, Well, how are  they going to believe if they've never heard? It says, but in this case, did they not hear? Of  course they did. Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the  world, there he's quoting Psalm 19, which speaks of the heavens declaring the glory of God  and God's creation proclaiming him, but he's saying that this word that goes out, just through  God's hand of creation, to the ends of the world, is even more true when applied to the Jewish people, because they had the Old Testament Scriptures, and they had Jesus Christ living right  among them. And the towns throughout the Roman world where Jewish people lived, had  been hearing the message of Jesus. And so was their problem of unbelief that they had simply not heard. No, they had heard, he says, again, I asked, Did Israel not understand? Or maybe  they heard, but they just didn't quite get it? Well, first, Moses says, I will make you envious by  those who are not a nation, I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding. So  he's saying they heard. And they actually understood a lot more than those Gentile people  did. That which Moses is talking about I'll make you angry by a nation that has no  understanding those Gentiles were clueless, the apostle says, and yet a lot of them are  believing in Jesus. And the people who understood a lot more of the scriptures, a lot of them  still didn't believe. So the problem is not that they didn't hear, or that they didn't understand,  they just would not accept the gospel. And Isaiah boldly says, I was found by those who did  not seek Me, I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me. So these Gentile people who  weren't even looking for God, weren't even looking for Jesus Christ, Got him. But concerning  Israel, he says, all day long, I've held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.  And there is the terrifying truth that some people do not, and will not believe. Some unbelief,  is perhaps spurred on by the disastrous mistakes of some Christians, or the wrong things that  Christians at certain points in history, or at certain points in a person's life, have done  something awful, that really offended them and made it much harder to hear the gospel.  That's even true in relation to the Jewish people. There's been a lot of history since Paul wrote  these words, and some of that history has been terrible history of mistreatment of the Jews 

raising obstacles, making it harder for some of them to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ,  because of what some people claiming the name of Christ have done, to Jewish people. But  having said all that, having made allowances for the fact that sometimes there are other  offenses and obstacles, the fact is that there are people who have almost every advantage,  who here who even understand at a certain level, and say, No, I don't believe that, I will not  accept Christ, I will not call on him as my Savior, I will not follow Him. And at that point, the  only thing that can be said is it is their own fault. It is not God's fault. It is not the fault of the  gospel. It is not the fault of the evangelist, it is not the fault of the neighbor, or the parent or  the friend who tried to share the gospel, and they're sitting around saying, Oh, if only I'd done a better job, maybe they would have believed No. Unbelief, for those who have heard and  understood is their own responsibility. And so that's part of what you have to face when you're sharing the gospel with people. Jesus told the parable, of the four soils, only one kind of soil,  had a heart to change that received the gospel. And there's other kinds that just don't. And  Jesus told that right at the beginning of sending out his disciples, so they would know right off the bat, you're going to get mixed results. Some people are going to believe and receive that  word and it's going to flourish in them and others won't. And it's not your fault. There are  different kinds of soil. Canons of Dort says, however, that many who have been called through the gospel do not repent or believe in Christ but perish in unbelief is not because the sacrifice  of Christ offered on the cross is deficient, or insufficient, because but because they  themselves are at fault. The fact that many who are called through the ministry of the gospel  do not come, and are not brought to conversion must not be blamed on the gospel, nor on  Christ, who is offered through the gospel, nor on God, who calls them through the gospel and  even bestows various gifts on them, but on the people themselves, who are called. So when  there is resistance and a rejection of the gospel of Christ, that fault lies on the person doing  the rejecting. That's a very sad and sobering thing. At the same time. We who carry the  gospel have to realize that fact, there are some who will not accept and what did the apostle  do when that happened? He moved on to the next people to be told, if he went to a  synagogue, some would believe others wouldn't usually they'd hound him out, then he would  preach to the Gentiles in town. When it got too hot. He'd move on to the next town, you find  Jesus moving from one town to another to another in his preaching ministry. And there are  there are people who won't listen. And we need to understand that there's a time at which  you say, Okay, maybe I'm not going to conclude that God hasn't chosen them yet, or that  there's no hope for them. But maybe the time is not now maybe the ambassador's not me.  Maybe God still has other plans for them. But my best efforts haven't accomplished very  much. That's very hard to do. If it happens to be a treasured child of yours, or a dear  neighbor, or friend, but there comes a point at which you say, Well, I'm gonna have to resort  only to prayer evangelism here and keep on praying for them, because my preaching isn't  cutting it. And now it's just going to be nagging. If I keep on doing it. So there, you have to  ask God for wisdom in sharing the gospel. And when it's time to stop speaking, because  they're not listening. You need to understand that it's just not you who feel that way. The  apostle Paul says of God. God says, all day long, I've held out my hands, to a disobedient  people. And so the the heart of God, that the sorrow of God, in holding out his hands, it's not  that he's saying you may not and cannot come, I don't want you he, he holds out his hands  and brings the gospel. And yet, they will not respond. And they're responsible for that  rejection of the gospel. You see that dynamic, not just stated in doctrinal form, but just in the  way that mission worked out in Paul's life. In the city of Antioch, a different Antioch than the  one that sent him. Antioch in Pisidia, he was carrying the message to Jewish people first, his  pattern was always first to the Jews, then to the Gentiles. That's how he carried out his  mission, he would always first find the Jews in a particular area and speak the gospel to them. And he had some people in that town who were Jewish, who believed the gospel and accepted it, but a bunch of didn't, including some of the main leaders. And so they told him to get out  of the synagogue. And the Apostle says, We had to speak the Word of God to you first, since  you reject it, and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life. We now turn to the  Gentiles. When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord, and  all who were appointed for eternal life. believed. In a sense, that's it in a nutshell, when, as I 

mentioned in a previous sermon, if you are saved, all the credit goes to God. If you are lost, all the blame goes to you. And Paul says, you reject it, you don't consider yourselves worthy of  eternal life. And then eternal life comes to people who believe and they are those who were  appointed for eternal life. So you see God appoints and when people are saved beneath their  response is God's appointment. Beneath the rejection of the gospel, it's all our own doing.  And this is also an encouragement when results are discouraging to keep on going. When you  say, Boy, I've tried to share the gospel with people, and it doesn't seem to be working. I don't  seem to be getting through very much. Well, the apostle Paul had that he was ministering in  the great city of Corinth, which was kind of the heart of paganism and of immorality, and it  was a very discouraging place to be working. One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision Do  not be afraid. Keep on speaking Do not be silent for I am with you. I have many people in this  city. You know, it didn't look like it. But that's because God has people even before they know  it. He's got them. I have many people in this city. So Paul stayed for a year and a half teaching them the word of God. He stayed because he knew if he stayed, God had people there and  they were going to respond to that gospel. And that is the great motivator for many people in  mission when things get discouraging. William Carey, the the great pioneer of modern  missions, who was a missionary in India, was in India for 11 years before there was one  convert. But he believed that God had many people in India before he ever went, by the way,  he was discouraged from even discussing or thinking about mission by some old ministers  who prided themselves on being Calvinists. He said, Well, I would like to have a discussion of  our obligation to bring the gospel to the heathen. And an old minister said to him, If God  wants the heathen to have the gospel and be saved, God will save them. And that was one  way to apply Calvinism. Well, Carey was himself a Calvinist, and he, he was apalled, he was  like Paul, where he says, Well, they've got to have somebody preach to them, if they're going  to believe. And so God not only appoints people to eternal life, he appoints people to be sent  to them, and to carry the gospel to them. And then once they go, they know that even if there are discouraging results at first, so what keep on going, keep on speaking because the Lord  has many people, and he's going to save them. So I just want to conclude with a picture of  the mission mentality in the Apostle Paul. These points are from Dr. John R. W. Stott, who has  a great commentary on Romans but also is one of the great pioneers of the Lausanne  conference on world evangelization along with Billy Graham, and Dr. Stott has written an  excellent commentary on Romans and other one on Acts and has a really good grasp on Paul's mission mentality, one of the first things simply is of the need, Paul knew that people without  Christ are lost. And there is a great need for the gospel, people perish without the gospel.  That's why he said of Israel, that my heart breaks for them. And my prayer is that they may  be saved. He knows they won't be without Christ. And if that's true of Israel, it's certainly true  of every other nation, because no nation is dearer to God's heart than Israel is. So everybody,  every person from every nation without exception needs the gospel. What's the scope of that? Well, all nationalities need Jesus. And so there's not one way of saving one nationality and a  different way of saving another one. Mission is meant to go to every tribe and language and  people and nation as Jesus Himself said, in the Great Commission, Go therefore, and make  disciples of all nations. What's the motive? Well, the motive is the great love of God. And the  great love that God puts in the missionary wanting. Others saved. the Apostle said that he  would even give himself up to be accursed or damned if it would save people. Well, that  doesn't work because there are only one substitute for sin and his name is Jesus. But Paul  wasn't just bluffing, that I would do anything. He couldn't be damned for them. But he could  cross land and sea, he could be beaten with the 39 lashes five different times and beaten with rods three different times, and be imprisoned over and over again, and go through  shipwrecks, and be endangered from bandits and being robbed and being assaulted and  beaten. He did all that. Because of his great love. He said, the love of Christ compels us,  because we're convinced that one died for all. And so he was driven by the love of God to  bring the good news to other people. What's the nature of the gospel? Well, the nature of it is  simply that we're sharing Christ crucified and risen. Always when you read in the book of Acts  and in Romans, It zeroes in on Jesus, it's Jesus, Jesus, and more Jesus salvation is Jesus plus  nothing. And so there is that continued emphasis in announcing that Jesus crucified, risen and

reigning has taken over Jesus is Lord. And so the nature of mission is sharing Jesus crucified  and risen. And then there's that logic that we've looked at already in some detail of the  gospel, that People are sent and the sent ones preach. And when that preaching is heard  people believe, and they call on the name of the Lord Jesus, and they're saved. But the logic  of mission says that I want them to believe and be saved. But before that can happen, they've got to hear, that means we've got to be speaking. And we've got to be sending. So think  about your own life and your own logic, do you have that logic is one of the most important  and burning things in your life, that your heart breaks for the lost, and that you know that the  lost are found, when they call on the name of the Lord, as a congregation, and in your own  individual life, say, Lord, what am I called to do? How am I sharing the gospel with other  people? Do you have anybody in your life that you're praying for? That you're sharing Jesus  with? Are you supporting others who are carrying the gospel in places where we might not be  able to go individually. But as a congregation, we have various people who are involved in  mission. And so part of that logic, the gospels we keep sending, and supporting and keep  praying. Just remember, Paul said, how can they preach unless their sent so remember that  prayer evangelism is also very important, not just the preaching evangelism be much in  prayer for the missionaries, we support and be generous with your pocketbook, this mission is much more important than just adding the latest luxuries to your own life. And the result of  mission is that people are blessed. And the Apostle Paul puts it in kind of a curious way, when  he's talking about the issue of Israelite unbelief, he says, you know, when they won't believe,  then I go to the Gentiles. And I preach to them, and I'm hoping to make the Jews jealous. I'm  hoping that they see these Gentiles full of faith, and with the transforming power of Jesus in  their life and overflowing with joy and peace. And when they see what's going on, in those  people, they'll say, boy, they got it. Good. I'd like that. So he says that, that part of the result  of the mission mentality is when people accept the gospel, and it makes this fantastic and  transforming difference in their life, then those who are near them, who may be previously  had no use for the gospel are going to be provoked to a good kind of envy, a good kind of  jealousy, where they want what that saved person has. The confidence in mission goes back  to this confidence that God's chosen will believe, as Paul was told, I have many people in this  city, even before they had come to faith. And so when you're sharing the gospel, you don't  always know which is going to believe or whether this one or that one. In Ecclesiastes, in a  little different connection, it says, Hey, sow your seed, give portions to seven, yes to eight,  you know, and keep on sewing that seed because you don't know which is going to work  whether this or that or whether both will be equally do equally well, or Jesus in this parable of  the sower. There's different kinds of soil. But the farmer just flings the seed and covers it all.  And where the seed where the soil is good, the seed is going to bear its fruit and where God  has prepared the soil, that seed is going to prepare its fruit don't be too quick to judge which  soil is going to turn out when Stephen was preaching to the mob that murdered him, that  must have looked like all hard beaten path where the devil immediately takes the soil and  carries it away. Because when he had finished with his sermon, they all grabbed rocks and  killed him. That's usually not what you want, as the result of your sermon. And the greatest  missionary in the world was in the audience that day, approving of Stephens death. So we  have to not jump to conclusions about who the Lord is going to save just because it didn't  happen that day. Sometimes he has his own ways, his own methods, his own timing, and we  keep sowing seed. And we can do that in the confidence that God ultimately will bring people  to Himself. And then the goal of all that is that people will bring glory to God because they  belong to Him and they'll be grafted into his church. We'll say more about that grafting. In a  future message where the apostle talks about various branches being grafted into that  original trunk of people who work with vines or trees. They graft stock onto a basic trunk and  he says the goal of mission is that Gentiles become part of Israel, that all become part of that  true Israel children of Abraham called by God that's the kind of mission mentality that the  apostle Paul had. And we don't study Paul's mission mentality and say, Now I have a little  better scholarly grasp of what somebody 2000 years ago thought like, this is revealed not just to give us the mentality of Paul, but to give us the mentality of Paul's master, the Lord Jesus  Christ, and of his great mission into the world. Jesus said to His disciples, As the Father has 

sent me, I am sending you. We thank You, Lord, that you are the source of all salvation. We  thank You, Lord, for your great and sovereign and eternal decisions that you've made to bring  people to yourself who otherwise would have rejected you. And been lost forever. We thank  you for your great work not only of selecting and choosing people for salvation, but for  sending we we marvel at the way the Apostle Paul was not only saved, but commissioned all  in a day. And we pray, Lord, that our own lives we may know with clarity, that great salvation  but also that your hand of sending may be upon us that we may know your purposes, and  your mission for each of us, as individuals in your world help each of us, Lord, to give careful  thought to our own lives, to the opportunities we have to bring your gospel to other people,  and to support others who are bringing that gospel. Give us Lord a great passion for the lost  and a great passion for your glory, that your great and sovereign work of salvation may  spread to the ends of the earth. Make us Lord, a congregation that reaches out that is eager  to help and bless and enfold the lost. We pray, Lord, for those who are our missionaries, we  thank you. For them. We thank You, Lord, for those within our own congregation, who are  bringing the Gospel to people who are in prison via crossroads. We thank You, Lord, for those  who are ministering to the homeless and preparing meals and helping in the process of giving Bible studies for them. We thank You, Lord, for those who are spreading the gospel and raising up more workers for the gospel through Eastern Ukraine Seminary and Christian Leaders  Institute and Christian Leaders College. We thank you for Seuyung Hup and his church planting ministry. We thank you Lord for Sunset Solutions in the use of technology that more and more  people may hear this good news of salvation. We pray for Anthony and Sarah. In Uganda as  they spread the gospel there. We ask Father that all who are preparing to spread your word  like Joe and Allie Lemenager, preparing to go out on mission, maybe equipped with  confidence in you and with mighty power from your Holy Spirit to be instruments of Your  grace. Father each day in our own hearts give us a stronger and stronger assurance of your  love for us. Help us to know more deeply and fully that our decision to follow you that our  belief in you is rooted in eternity itself in your great and eternal love for us. We pray in Jesus  name, Amen.

Остання зміна: понеділок 3 січня 2022 07:10 AM